Analysis

Now You Know: Explaining Stefon Diggs’ Frustration With Josh Allen

Greg Jennings has played in his share of winter weather NFL showdowns. He explains exactly why Stefon Diggs was so frustrated with Josh Allen during their playoff loss against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, and breaks down why Allen is not solely at fault.

Betting

NFL Divisional Round Betting: Odds, Spreads, Picks, Predictions for Bengals vs. Bills

Bengals (12-4) at Bills (13-3)

Opening Spread: Bills -4

Opening Game Total: 50

Opening Team Totals: Bills (27) Bengals (23)

Weather: Outdoors, chance of snow

The Line Report

  • This line opened as Bills -4
  • This line has moved to Bills -5.5
  • This total opened at 50-points
  • This total has moved to 50.5-points

Notable Injuries

Bills: Questionable: DT DaQuan Jones, CB Dane Jackson, S Jordan Poyer

Bengals: Out: RT La’el Collins. Questionable: LT Jonah Williams, RG Alex Cappa

Bills Offense vs. the Bengals Defense

I have the Bills’ offensive line tiered as a league-average unit. As our Maxx Forde recently pointed out, Josh Allen’s skillset is an asset for the Bills’ offensive line in both phases. The Bengals have a below-average pass rush, but their defensive front is very strong in the run game. The Bills’ offensive line has a moderate advantage in pass protection, while the Bengals’ defensive front has a moderate advantage in the run game.

Betting Notes Per TruMedia

  • The Bills are 8-8 against the spread this season
  • The Bills are 6-10 on overs this season
  • Josh Allen is 43-29-4 against the spread in his career
  • Josh Allen is 32-42-2 on overs in his career
  • Sean McDermott is 53-39-5 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach
  • Sean McDermott is 43-52-2 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach

Bills Offense

  • The Bills scored 28.4 points per game, good for second in the league
  • Buffalo is seventh in the league in yards passing per game and seventh in yards rushing
  • The Bills are passing on 54% of their plays and running on 46% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions
  • Per the Edge, Josh Allen finished the season with 762 yards rushing, which is third among quarterbacks
  • Devin Singletary finished the season with 819 yards rushing, which was 26th in the league
  • James Cook has seen sporadic usage throughout the year, but he had 12 carries to Devin Singletary’s 10 last week against Miami
  • Stefon Diggs finished the season fourth in receptions (108), fifth in yards receiving (1,429), fourth in receiving touchdowns (11), 14th in target share (27.6%), and 18th in air yards share (34.3%)
  • Gabriel Davis finished the season with 48 receptions for 836 yards receiving and seven touchdowns with a 17.9% target share and a 30.5% air yards share
  • Isaiah McKenzie has only breached 50 yards receiving in two of his 15 games this season
  • Dawson Knox finished the year with 48 receptions for 517 yards receiving and six touchdowns with a 12.7% target share and a 10.3% air yards share
  • Knox has a receiving touchdown in each of his last five games
  • Per TruMedia, Stefon Diggs has played 545 snaps on the perimeter and 249 in the slot
  • Gabe Davis has played 746 snaps on the perimeter and 109 in the slot
  • Isaiah McKenzie has played 139 snaps on the perimeter and 385 in the slot
  • Dawson Knox has played 395 snaps as an in-line tight end, 81 on the perimeter, and 263 in the slot 

Bengals Defense

  • The Bengals allowed 20.1 points per game, which is sixth in the league
  • Cincinnati is 29th in the league in sacks, tenth in forced fumbles, and 18th in interceptions
  • Per The Edge, the Bengals allowed the 26th-most yards rushing per game and the 23rd-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season
  • Cincinnati gave up the 19th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year
  • Cincinnati gave up the ninth-most PPR points per game to slot receivers
  • The Bengals allowed the seventh-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season
  • The Bengals allowed the eighth-most PPR points per game to tight ends lined up in the slot 

 

Bengals Offense vs. the Bills Defense

Barring a miracle, the Bengals will be down both their opening-day offensive tackles and their right guard. At full strength, the Bengals’ offensive line worked its way up to a league-average unit, but with these injuries, they are a below-average group entering this contest. At full strength, the Bills have a borderline top-five defensive front. Without Von Miller and A.J. Epenesa, the Bills have more of a league-average defensive front. Given all of the injuries in this trench matchup, Buffalo has a moderate to significant advantage in the trenches.

Betting Notes Per TruMedia

  • The Bengals are 12-4 against the spread this season
  • The Bengals are 6-9-1 on overs this season
  • Joe Burrow is 27-15 against the spread in his career
  • Joe Burrow is 20-20-2 on overs in his career
  • Zac Taylor is 38-27 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach
  • Zac Taylor is 29-34-2 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach

Bengals Offense

  • The Bengals scored 26.1 points per game, good for seventh in the league
  • Cincinnati is third in the league in yards passing per game and 29th in yards rushing
  • The Bengals are passing on 66% of their plays and running on 34% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions
  • Per the Edge, Joe Mixon finished the season 27th in yards rushing with 814, and he’s sixth among running backs in yards receiving with 441
  • Samaje Perine is 21st among running backs in yards receiving
  • In 12 games, Ja’Marr Chase finished with 87 receptions for 1,046 yards receiving and nine touchdowns with a 29.3% target share and a 39.1% air yards share
  • Tee Higgins finished with 74 receptions for 1,029 yards receiving and seven touchdowns with an 18.4% target share and a 28.5% air yards share
  • Tyler Boyd finished with 58 receptions for 762 yards receiving and five touchdowns with a 13.7% target share and a 17.8% air yards share
  • In 13 games, Hayden Hurst finished with 52 receptions for 414 yards receiving and two touchdowns with a 14.2% target share and a 9.7% air yards share
  • Per TruMedia, Ja’Marr Chase has played 585 snaps on the perimeter and 154 in the slot
  • Tee Higgins has played 585 snaps on the perimeter and 132 in the slot
  • Tyler Boyd has played 123 snaps on the perimeter and 633 in the slot

Bills Defense

  • The Bills allowed 17.9 points per game, which is second in the league
  • Buffalo is 14th in the league in sacks, 22nd in forced fumbles, and fourth in interceptions
  • Per The Edge, the Bills allowed the 23rd-most yards rushing per game and the 22nd-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season
  • Buffalo gave up the seventh-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year
  • Buffalo gave up the fifth-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers
  • The Bills allowed the 27th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season

This Is What You’re Betting On in Bengals vs. Bills

The Week 17 matchup between these two teams was canceled due to Damar Hamlin’s health crisis. Including last week’s victory over Miami, the Bills have won their last eight games. Including last week’s win over the Ravens, Cincinnati has won its last nine games.

If You’re Betting on the Bills

I’d argue that no team relies more on their quarterback than the Bills on Josh Allen. Outside of Stefon Diggs, Allen’s supporting cast on offense is very average. Like with any Bills bet, you must build that bet around Allen carrying this offense where they at least meet expectations.

The most apparent matchup advantage that the Bills have in this contest is their injury-reduced defensive front against the Bengals injury-ravaged offensive line. If the Bills are to win by enough distance to cover this now -5.5 spread, Buffalo’s ability to exploit Cincinnati’s injured offensive line is the clearest path to that outcome. That’s still possible without Von Miller, but it’s much less of a slam dunk than if Miller was available. If Joe Burrow spends most of his Sunday in a muddy pocket, that will make the tall task of mitigating the Bengals’ elite skill group far more manageable for the Bills.

 

You have two core concerns as a Bills bettor. The first is that Joe Burrow plays well despite the limitations of his injured offensive line. The Bengals went to the Super Bowl last season with a below-average offensive line, so that outcome is certainly possible. The second is that Buffalo’s offense is one-dimensional, where that group effectively goes as far as Josh Allen takes it. Surviving a few turnovers against Skylar Thompson’s Dolphins is not the same circumstance as giving Joe Burrow a few more drives. If Buffalo is going to win this game, and cover, Allen will need to limit his turnovers.

If You’re Betting on the Bengals

Any Bengals bet is built around Joe Burrow and his elite skill group. The Bengals have shown over the last two years they can beat anyone. Entering this game, however, they will almost certainly be down both offensive tackles and their right guard. One of my longstanding football tenants is that you can play effective offense with one liability at offensive tackle, but it becomes much more problematic when you have two. You can game plan around one unreliable offensive tackle because you can give them consistent help in various ways. You can’t really do that with two. The Chiefs’ Super Bowl against the Buccaneers a few years ago is a primary example of what can happen to an elite offense when it loses both of its offensive tackles. Your biggest concern as a Bengals bettor is that Joe Burrow’s offense is significantly hampered by their injury-reduced offensive line.

No lead is safe when Josh Allen is the opposing quarterback. Buffalo is among the most pass-centric teams in the league, which devalues the Bengals’ high-performing run defense to a degree. We can reasonably expect Cincinnati to focus its game plan on Stefon Diggs, forcing Allen to beat it with his role players. The best-case scenario for Cincinnati is limiting Diggs while forcing a couple of turnovers.

Your biggest concern as a Bengals bettor is that Joe Burrow spends this contest under siege behind Cincinnati’s injury-reduced offensive line. Your second-biggest concern is that Josh Allen’s turnover issues disappear and the Bills’ offense plays one of its cleanest games of the season. If both of those conditions happen, that’s the primary path to the Bills winning this game with some distance.

Score Prediction: Bills 24, Bengals 20

Ryan’s Recent Betting Record

TS 2021: 49-31

ATS 2022: 48-32

Props 2022: 60-40

WATCH: Betting Divisional Round with Tank Williams

 

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